Here are some scatterbrained thoughts on 2007 from a triathlon point of view.
Swim: 380k – 116 hrs.
Bike: 4,795 – 333 hrs.
Run: 1,272 – 171 hrs.
Swim: 416k – 124 hrs.
Bike: 6,138 – 351 hrs.
Run: 1,278 – 173 hrs.
2007 (as of 12/28/07, not much left to go)
Swim: 451k – 139 hrs
Bike: 7,224 – 392 hrs
Run: 1,1410 – 166 hrs
This year was an awesome one from a tri perspective. First and foremost I accomplished my goal of qualifying for Kona. The season continued on a high note with PRs at the half distance, Olympic distance, and a sprint tri I’ve done for the past few years. I also had some training and racing struggles that I had to deal with – overtraining, stale racing, stale training…
What did I do right?
I qualified for Hawaii – and had a blast doing Hawaii. Need I say more?
What did I do wrong?
I didn’t take enough of a break after Ironman AZ. I put too much priority on early seasons races and the fitness needed to do well in them. I took a bit of time off after the race (IMAZ), but I got back into pretty high volume/quality training to early. Doing the Triple T, Rockman Half and Appleton Half, along with a sprint in a 5 week period did not help. This made me spend a lot of July training poorly, and a lot of August trying to train easily to get back to normal. Looking back it’s pretty obvious I was overtrained during this time – one of the dead give a ways was the sudden onset of asthma that I had.
Although I was mentally struggling with training when Hawaii arrived, physically I would have been better off doing IM Florida – as my fitness (and confidence in my fitness) was just finally starting to spin up.
Thoughts for next year
Train objectively using objective measures – Power, VDOT, frequent low stress testing, etc. I feel that part of the reason I had a good race at Arizona was because much of my training was indoors – giving me the ability to completely control my intensity at all times, and provide clear cut objective comparisons between workouts.
Accept Difficulties – Next year I need to do a better job of rolling with the punches rather then trying to force my way through them.
Race less – I think a big part of the reason I got into an overtrained state was my desire to try to hold onto my early season peak for far to long. I needed to take a solid 6 week break/recovery period after IMAZ, but instead 5 weeks later I was doing a crazy series of racing: Triple T, a sprint the next weekend, Rockman Half the next, a week off, followed by another half. That was basically an Ironman, 2 halfs, and a sprint in a 5 week period. I will not do that again.
I did way too many races this year – next year I plan to focus on a couple key races, and “participate” in the remainder; using them to reinforce good pacing and execution techniques. I’m a little nervous about my Triple-T/Rockman repeat next year, but I hope that by not doing the other two races in June, the 6 weeks between Rockman and Racine will be enough, I’ll have to play the later race by ear.
Nutrition – I got burned on my nutrition at Hawaii. While I had used my exact same nutrition strategy in training leading up to Hawaii, there were two differences on race day: 1> It was ~10 degress warming in HI then the weeks leading up to it in Wisconsin; 2> I rode at the same “effort” I rode Arizona, but my training before Hawaii wasn’t the same quality as before Arizona – so in reality it was to hard. Those to factors contributed to my stomach becoming a sugar ball. Dial in my nutrition more for all conditions and try to develop the ability to mentally adjust intake to conditions.
Not so much a thought for next year, but looking back, any future years of doing 2+ ironmans, I need to ensure they are either ~5 weeks apart, or ~6 months apart. The former lets me recover from the race and carry the fitness over, the latter allows enough time to fully recover and rebuild my fitness.